Scott falters at U.S. Open qualifier; streak on line

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Adam Scott ended his longest day in golf with a playoff loss against Cam Davis in a U.S. Open qualifier, and now Scott has to wait a week to see if his alternate status will allow him to extend the longest active streak of playing the majors.

Davis gave his fellow Australian a second chance by making bogey on the final hole in the Springfield, Ohio, qualifier, sending them to a playoff for the fourth and final spot.

Scott chipped in for birdie and Davis matched him with an 18-foot birdie putt. Both made par on the next hole, and then Davis hit his approach to 2 feet and Scott couldn’t match the birdie.

Scott, who has played in every major starting with the 2001 Open Championship, can still get to Pinehurst No. 2 for the U.S. Open on June 13-16. The USGA has held back six spots in case there are late qualifiers through the world ranking.

That was just one snapshot of a day of 36-hole qualifying that stretched from coast to coast, even crossing the northern border into Canada, to provide a chance for 687 players to earn one of 44 spots.

Willie Mack III earned his first U.S. Open appearance when Brendan Valdes had a 30-inch putt spin out of the cup in a 3-for-1 playoff in Florida. Justin Lower was in tears when he qualified for his first U.S. Open at age 35.

“The Sunday of the U.S. Open usually falls on Father’s Day and I lost my dad when I was 15,” Lower said. “Just to be able to play on that day in the U.S. Open will be really cool.”

LIV Golf players had a rough time at five of the qualifying sites.

Only two of the 17 players from the Saudi-funded league reached the U.S. Open — Dean Burmester in Florida, and David Puig in San Francisco.

It was a clutch performance by Puig. He is narrowly holding down the second and final Olympic spot representing Spain, but without the U.S. Open, he would have no other chance to earn ranking points.

In some of the other qualifiers:

Jupiter, Florida: Matt Kuchar led the five qualifiers in Florida. He will join Phil Mickelson as the only players to compete in every U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 (1999, 2005, 2014).

LIV had eight players in the Florida qualifier at The Bear’s Club, and Burmester was the only one to make it through. Joaquín Niemann was poised to join him until a double bogey on the 15th hole of his afternoon round. A birdie on the final hole left him one shot out of a playoff.

Columbus, Ohio: Lower and Séamus Power of Ireland led the five qualifiers on the Scarlet course at Ohio State University. Brendon Todd made a short birdie on the first hole of a 4-for-3 playoff, and Gunnar Broin and Chris Naegel advanced with pars.

For Naegel, it’s the third time since 2018 he has reached the U.S. Open by going through 18 holes of local qualifying and 36 holes of final qualifying.

Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada: Most of the PGA Tour players stuck around after the Canadian Open. Mark Hubbard led the seven qualifiers with rounds of 64-63. Also advancing was Canadian amateur Ashton McCulloch, who played in his national open last week and now heads to the U.S. Open.

Summit, New Jersey: Max Greyserman started his afternoon round at Canoe Brook by making eight birdies to go out in 28. That carried him to a 64 and one of four U.S. Open spots, along with New England amateur Ben James, who plays at Virginia.

Jim Herman, 46, got the final spot in a 4-for-1 playoff.

Rockville, Maryland: Tim Widing, a two-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour this year, led the three qualifiers out of Woodmont Country Club. Marc Leishman of Australia opened with a 64 but was 10 shots worse in the afternoon. He was among four LIV players who didn’t qualify in Maryland.

Durham, North Carolina: Frankie Capan III led the seven qualifiers, but the drama belonged to Harry Higgs. The “Big Rig” was coming off consecutive Korn Ferry Tour wins that will get him back to the PGA Tour. On this day, he birdied his last two holes to get into a seven-man playoff for the final two spots.

Higgs got one of those spots and heads to his first U.S. Open.

Webb Simpson qualified at Duke University Golf Course and returns to the U.S. Open for the 14th straight year. This was his first time qualifying since 2011. He won the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in 2012 and received a 10-year exemption.

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